ep. 57 | Wisely Using Technology with Tony Reinke
On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I’m chatting with Tony Reinke on the topic of smartphone use. I know it’s tempting to dodge this episode given the topic, but I want to encourage you to listen, as it’s such an important conversation for us as believers. Tony and I talked about everything from the challenges affiliated with of smartphone use to how we can actually use them to do what God has called us to do more effectively. We also talked about how we can wisely disciple our children in regard to their use of technology. I would venture out to say this is one of the most helpful conversations I’ve had on the Journeywomen podcast. So you’ll know him a little better, Tony is an author and a non-profit journalist in the Twin Cities. He writes about many things but especially the intersection of where technology and digital media meet the Christian life. He is also the host of the Ask Pastor John podcast and Senior Writer at desiringGod.org. I cannot wait to share this conversation with you all!
Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do? What inspired your book "12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You"?
Can we frame this conversation around the gospel? How does the gospel free us up in our decision making when it comes to smartphone use?
How does the gospel convict and challenge us to carefully consider the way in which we are using smartphones?
What are some of the challenges we face when it comes to our smartphones? How does smartphone addiction affect us spiritually?
How does technology perpetuate loneliness? How does the digital age impact Bible literacy?
What is the importance of pushing back our phones in the early morning hours?
What are some litmus tests to determine where our hearts are at in regard to the use of technology? What might we see in ourselves when we're turning to it too readily, or relying on it for things like our status, comfort, and deliverance?
If we recognize these things in our hearts, what encouragement does the gospel offer? What ought we do as believers if we realize we're failing in this area?
What are some examples of new life disciplines in regard to cell phone use, birthed from a new set of life priorities, and empowered by our new life freedom in Jesus Christ?
What would it look like to utilize our smartphones for the sake of the gospel or to fulfill the Great Commission?
How can we post online and push back against the moment-by-moment need for approval that comes with a constant stream of acquiring more likes and followers? What happens to us if we don't push back against that?
Do you have any helpful tips for engaging people we love with a careful conversation about smartphone use? Spouses? Friends? Kids?
What encouragement do you have for those who anticipate experiencing friction in those conversations?
How can discussions on Christians and smartphones actually be a segue towards broader discussions of Christians and technology?
THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST
What 3 resources would you recommend for someone who desires to steward their phone/screen time better?
What are your 3 simple joys?
Who has had the greatest impact on your own journey with Jesus?
“The very basis of wisdom is to distrust our own intuition.”
“Jesus says in Matthew 10 whoever loves (fill in the blank) more than me, is not worthy of me. There is something exclusive about Christ. He wants our ultimate affection. He does not want to share our affection with our social media network.”
“If Satan can disrupt your devotions, he can disrupt your day. As soon as we wake up, we are in immediate warfare for our affections and attention.”
“The call for Christians is ‘what has God called you to be and to do? This is what sets you apart from the world’. What responsibilities has God given you in your family, in your church, at work, at school, and in your community? This is your highest priority. Only when you have some sense of clarity here that you can figure out what you should be doing with your smartphone.”
“The screen on our phones is an exposé of what our hearts most want.”
“Think through your vocation and how smartphones are most useful.”
“Do a digital detox to be reminded that you are in the plan of God. You are easily replaceable. And God has a lot of voices and a huge plan way beyond us getting 200 likes on an Instagram post. And it is good to be reminded that we are small, yet he loves us and shed the blood of his Son to make us thrive eternally."
“This craving for human approval kills faith.”
“When it comes to distracted driving, I look at the parable of the Good Samaritan. Here is a guy that is busted up on the streets, and the Jew just steps over him. We don’t see flesh and blood needs on the street. That is one of the reason why texting and driving isn’t even breaking a law for a Christian. It’s breaking Jesus’ command not to look past the need of your neighbor on the street.”
“Let’s get a larger conversation going in our churches. Not just about the consequences but how we can use the technologies.”
“We need more and more people reading their Bibles and thinking through what does this Proverb have to do with how you engage in social media.”
TONY'S RESOURCES FOR WISELY USING TECHNOLOGY
12 Tips for Parenting in the Digital Age by Tony Reinke
Change the settings on your phone to make the screen black and white. Muting the colors detracts from the stimuli.
Find great books, great hikes, and things that take you away from your phone.
12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke
TONY'S SIMPLE JOY’S
Date nights with my wife
Grilling with charcoal
The sound of baseball, the leather on lumber
CONNECT WITH TONY
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